Markets & Finance

IBM Net Rises on Higher Margins


International Business Machines (IBM) posted $1.26 vs. $1.03 third quarter earnings per share before items as its widened margin offset an 8% total revenue decline. It noted that revenue rose 4% excluding its divested Personal Computers business. S&P raised its 2005 earnings per share estimate on the stock, but kept a hold opinion.

Novellus Systems (NVLS) posted 17 cents vs. 45 cents third quarter earnings per share (including items) on a 19% revenue decline. It says its gross margin suffered because of higher warranty costs, lower absorption of operational overheads, and other timing effects.

Merrill Lynch (MER) posted $1.40 vs. 93 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 38% revenue rise.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) posted 87 cents vs. 78 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 6.6% sale rise.

Rambus (RMBS) posted 14 cents vs. 10 cents third quarter earnings per share as an $18.6 million pre-tax gain offset a 7% revenue decline.

American Standard Companies (ASD) posted 74 cents vs. 71 cents third quarter GAAP earnings per share on a 9.5% sales rise. It says Bath and Kitchen's environment will continue to challenge the company in the fourth quarter. It sees sales up 6%, and 28 cents to 32 cents GAAP earnings per share. It cut its $2.60 to $2.75 2005 GAAP earnings per share estimate to between $2.54 and $2.58.

Unisys (UIS) preliminarily posted a 16 cents third quarter loss vs. 7 cents earnings per share on a 4.1% revenue drop. It says it was disappointed by results and is accelerating its repositioning efforts. It sees fourth quarter earnings per share, excluding pension expenses and planned actions, of between 10 cents and 15 cents.

3M(MMM) posted $1.10 vs. 97 cents on an 8.3% revenue rise. It sees $1.02 to $1.03 fourth quarter earnings per share, and $4.15 to $4.16 2005 earnings per share. It sets an additional $300 million stock buyback.

Panera Bread (PNRA) posted better-than-expected 8.2% higher third quarter system-wide same-store sales, and 31% higher total sales. It raised its third quarter earnings per share forecast to between 36 cents and 37 cents, and reaffirmed its fourth quarter forecast of 46 cents to 47 cents.

ProQuest(PQE) said it sees 58 cents to 60 cents third quarter earnings per share on $158 million to $160 million in revenue, including $4 million of lost revenue due to the hurricanes' impact.

Compass Bancshares (CBSS) posted 83 cents vs. 75 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 10% rise in net interest income and a 13% rise in revenue.

Station Casinos (STN) posted 56 cents vs. 43 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 13% revenue rise. It sees between 59 cents and 64 cents fourth quarter earnings per share, and between $2.57 and $2.62 in 2005. The company will update its $2.70 to $2.89 2006 earnings per share guidance on its fourth quarter conference call.

Rocky Shoes & Boots (RCKY) said it sees lower-than-expected $1.13 to $1.15 third quarter earnings per share, and between $2.25 and $2.29 in 2005. It cited weakness in its core outdoor footwear business. It received a roughly $30 million order to produce "Hot Weather" boots for the U.S. Military; and now sees $3.05 to $3.15 2006 earnings per share.

Sonus Pharmaceuticals (SNUS) said it is in a deal with Schering (SHR) granting Schering an exclusive, worldwide license to Sonus's Tocosol Paclitaxel anti-cancer product.

RLI (RLI) posted 96 cents vs. 32 cents third quarter earnings per share on 47% higher net realized investment gains and 1.8% higher consolidated revenue.

Borders Group (BGP)said it sees wider-than-expected third quarter losses of 16 cents to 20 cents (including charges) on 5.4% lower same-store sales at Waldenbooks and unchanged comparables at Borders. The company pulled its fourth quarter guidance.

Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPDI) posted 66 cents vs. 44 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 27% revenue rise. It named Agostino Fede, Ph.D. its Senior Vice President of global central labs.


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